Research. We do a lot of it. Every year, countless marketing organizations strive to more accurately understand their customers by conducting surveys, sitting in focus group, and running study after study.
After awhile, it all starts to pile up. Resulting in most teams sitting on an enormous amount of information and insights about their customer. And yet, the only step most teams take to tap into this incredible wealth of customer understanding is to throw all their files into a disorganized knowledge management system. Unfortunately this often creates more problems than it solves.
Despite having some sort of knowledge management system in place, most marketing organizations would agree that asking questions of their existing research is still an extremely frustrating and unrewarding process. Simply assessing whether you do or don’t have research on any given topic can take days. Even worse, extracting answers quickly from the research you do find is nearly impossible as the underlying data is locked away in a final report that can’t be manipulated.
To finally resolve this issue, many of the world’s best teams are investing in new technologies to help democratize their customer research data in new and powerful ways. Not sure if it’s time to consider looking into data democratization technologies for your own organization? Here are five signs to look for that may indicate your knowledge management system just isn’t cutting it:
- Your team makes decisions without customer data. Are decision makers at your organization bypassing the research and making their decisions without referencing your great research? If so, it’s probably too complicated and/or time-consuming for them to get the answers they need from your current system.
- Your organization lacks agreement on customer fundamentals. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to your segmentation and other foundational customer insights. If you aren’t, you have a problem. And praying that more people randomly stumble across that final report you’ve got stored on your sharepoint is likely not the solution.
- You’re drowning in data requests. Do you spend all of your time fielding custom requests, looking for data points buried deep inside reports and poorly structured data files? Your business partners should be able to get the answers they need by searching for the data themselves. Or, at the very least, this process shouldn’t be sucking up the majority of your time.
- It’s frustrating to use your data. Let’s assume you ARE able to find the right research. Is it still difficult to extract the data you need from your current system? Are you constrained by clunky, hard-to-use statistical software? Getting answers from your data should be as simple as searching on Google. Unfortunately, with most knowledge management solutions it’s not even close.
- Data synthesis is messy. Can you pull data across multiple studies into one deck without having to download each individual document and manually put them together? Aggregating data from multiple studies is often critical to answering a business question, but most of our current systems lack the tools to make this possible (and simple!) to do.
If your company is experiencing any of these pain points, there’s hope!
Faced with the limitations of traditional knowledge management solutions, many companies are starting to think about deploying data democratization technologies to facilitate greater access to insights. Data democratization refers to the process of making vast amounts of data accessible to everyone within an organization, enabling team members at all levels and functions to access and leverage customer data. The better everyone at your organization truly understands your customers, the better you can serve them. Data democratization platforms make this possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, we’ve put together the Definitive Guide to Data Democratization. This guide will help you understand how anyone at your organization can get instant answers from your customer survey data - and make better decisions for your company.
Time to democratize your data!